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J Reprod Immunol. 2006 Jun;70(1-2):83-91. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Cytokine mapping of sera from women with preeclampsia and normal pregnancies.

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  • 1Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.



Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific syndrome. The immune system in preeclampsia is changed with an increased innate activity and there is a hypothesis of a shift towards Th1-type immunity. The aim of this study was to determine a spectrum of soluble immunological factors denoting different aspects of immune activation in third trimester sera from women with preeclampsia (N=15) and compare with levels in sera from normal pregnant women (N=15).


IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12 p40, IL-13, IL-15, IL-17, IFN-alpha, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, GM-CSF, MIP-lalpha, MIP-1beta, MCP-1, eotaxin and RANTES were measured in serum using multiplex bead arrays. The levels of soluble CD14 and soluble IL-4 receptor were measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA).


Preeclamptic women had significantly increased levels of circulating IL-6 (p=0.002), IL-8 (p=0.003) and soluble IL-4R (p=0.037), compared to women with normal pregnancies.


This study supports the hypothesis of increased inflammatory responses in preeclampsia, illustrated by the increased levels of IL-6 and IL-8. The finding of increased levels of soluble IL-4 receptor is an intriguing finding with several interpretations, which may partly support the hypothesis of a Th1 shift in preeclampsia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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